Co-ops should be lumped with pvt sector: Bhattarai

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Co-ops should be lumped with pvt sector: Bhattarai

Sep 1, 2014-

In what appears to be a major departure from the original Maoist stand, senior leader Baburam Bhattarai said on Monday that cooperatives should be developed as part of the private sector.

The UCPN (Maoist) had campaigned hard for a greater role for the cooperative sector in the economy, but now it seems to have abandoned the idea. Bhattarai, who heads the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee of the Constituent Assembly (CA), said he saw cooperatives as being part of the private sector since there was private ownership in them.

“The only difference between cooperatives and other institutions in the private sector is that there is collective management,” he told at an interaction held with economic journalists to collect their suggestions for the new constitution.

The Interim Constitution has adopted the idea of a three-pillar economy with the government, private sector and cooperatives playing separate roles. Bhattarai added that cooperatives were needed to promote small farmers and producers in the country who form a large number. “The cooperative sector has earned a bad name due to the undesirable activities of a few institutions calling themselves cooperatives,” he said.

The private sector has long been criticizing the inclusion of the cooperative sector as a separate entity in the Interim Constitution. Bhattarai also insisted that the country should adopt industrial capitalism to enhance the capacity of individuals before heading towards socialism.

Responding to the suggestions of journalists that there should be proper distribution of resources between the central and state governments besides proper sharing of natural resources, Bhattarai said that proper attention would be given to the matter and efforts would be made to ensure that the states would have adequate resources.

“We should also look at the potential resources of a particular state and not only at its current capability,” he added.

Since identity has emerged as a major issue of federalism, Bhattarai said that making identity one of the basis for federalism was necessary as the capability of exploited communities should first be enhanced. “In the later stages, identity may no longer be relevant,” he added. Bhattarai said that there were more discourses on the number and names of the federal states than on resource distribution and sharing of natural resources which was misguided. During the interaction, journalists asked him to consider whether certain federal states would be capable of surviving on their own and ensure that there would be no clashes between the future states over natural resources.

Published: 02-09-2014 09:52

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